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messageKings or Lewisham maternity?
Posted by jen84 June 29, 02:41PM

Hi all

We are first time parents to be based in FH. I have been automatically referred to the local hospital which is Lewisham where I am due to have the first scan soon. However, Kings Hospital is only a little bit further from us. From what I understand, I can also switch there.

Does anyone have any recent experiences of giving birth, pre and post natal care at any of the two? I understand that Lewisham has the relatively new Birth Centre which looks good. However, the sonographer I have seen for private scans and also some NHS consultant friends (albeit in other areas) all say that Kings has the best reputation.

Many thanks in advance!

J.

messageRe: Kings or Lewisham maternity?
Posted by sillywoman June 30, 09:32PM

I've had four babies under Kings and their midwives, with a variety of experiences, however I trained and worked as a midwife at Lewisham. I now work in all the big South London hospitals so have a good overview of the ethos and 'feel' of each. There is no shadow of doubt in my mind what I would do were I to be pregnant now: If I were giving birth in a hospital I would chose Lewisham in a heart-beat.

To my mind Lewisham is vastly over-looked, and somewhat over-shadowed by the giants of Kings and Tommies that surround it, however not only is their Birth centre nationally recognised as Gold standard, but I am consistently impressed with how ahead of they game they are clinically. As a midwife I have found that 9 times out 10 when I hear that one the big teaching hospitals has now started offering X or Y to their women, it's often something Lewisham was doing several years ago - without fuss or fanfare.

And this is the key, Lewisham is a brilliant local unit. Many of the midwives and Doctors that work there also live nearby - their families use Lewisham, there is a vested interest in making the hospital good. They do really good work without being loud, or bragging about it - they just get on with it. And if I had opportunity to give birth in their Birth Centre I would jump at it - it knock's spots off Kings.

10 years ago kings had an amazing reputation for maternity, partly because of the legacy of the Albany team, and partly because of their wonderful caseload midwifery teams. That was all ruined by their last director of midwifery who disbanded them - apart from one or two half-hearted nod's to continuity that are still limping along. I suspect your consultant friends are harking back to this, and the fact that Kings does loads of research. It does have a super-glamourous fetal medicine unit where they do the scans so sonographers love it, but for actual labour and birth? Lewisham every time.

messageRe: Kings or Lewisham maternity?
Posted by jen84 July 01, 09:58AM

Hi, thanks so much for taking the time to reply, this is super informative and useful! From everything I hear so far, I think I will go with Lewisham.

messageRe: Kings or Lewisham maternity?
Posted by cfh2287 July 02, 07:24PM

Hi,

I've had two babies at Lewisham the most recent in Feb 2020 and I agree with the poster above, it was absolutely brilliant. The birth centre is unreal. It's like a spa hotel and we got to stay the night there after in our own room with a double bed and ensuite. Completely different experience from being on a ward with your partner sleeping on a chair. Be aware though that they are strict on who can use the birth centre. I wanted to use it for my first baby in June 2018 but because my waters had broken a while before they said I had to go to labour ward instead. Which was also fine but you dont get your own private room afterwards. In both birth centre and labour ward they bring you tea and toast with jam after you've had the baby! Apparently kings dont do this, very important consideration! The other thing I liked about Lewisham is that the first time when I was on labour ward my room had a beautiful view over ladywell fields which I did really appreciate. Happy to answer anything else you want to know about my experience there.

messageRe: Kings or Lewisham maternity?
Posted by jen84 July 03, 10:31AM

Hi, thanks so much for your reply, sounds like a very positive experience!

messageRe: Kings or Lewisham maternity?
Posted by Somerset July 04, 10:56AM

Yes to Lewisham! I've recently had a fantastic experience there - the birth centre is very jacked but if you don't get to use it, the labour rooms are all basically brand new and refurbished. It's also, from what I've heard, much easier to get a private side room (paid for) if you have to stay in for any length of time - I had one and it was definitely a much better experience than the ward.

I met so many lovely lovely people - I was in hospital for 5 days and once I came home, the receptionist on the ante natal ward actually called me up a few days after I came home to see how I was. And so many of the midwives who had helped me over the almost week I was there also stopped in to say hi and meet the new baby. Definitely a very positive experience.


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